Flat Fee MLS Listings in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana,
Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington

CA Updated Coverage Areas – 2018

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
March 2nd, 2018

We are excited to announce the following new coverage areas as of May 1st, 2018.

Victor Valley, CA

Lake Arrowhead, CA

Big Bear, CA.

 

Congress Realty forwarded me an email – What next?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
February 22nd, 2018

We get a lot of emails from agents, prospective buyers, title companies, lenders, you name it… The majority of these emails relate to a property that we have listed. When we receive an email on a given property, we automatically forward this email to the homeowner. When a seller receives the email, typically, they don’t want to reply to Congress Realty but instead they want to reply to the party that sent the original request. For example, let’s say a property is under contract and an escrow officer emails us to ask for the seller payoff information. We will fwd that email to the homeowner. The homeowner should then reach out directly to the escrow officer to provide them with the requested information.

So the next logical question is why are they emailing Congress Realty initially? The answer for this is that it really depends upon the situation and who is sending the request. If it’s a Realtor inquiring, typically it’s b/c they didn’t read the listing and simply emailed us before reading to contact the owner directly. That said, it’s not a big deal. We are happy to fwd these types of emails to the seller. With regards to title companies, typically, they do not have the seller contact information initially unless the seller has reached out to them directly. It all really just depends. The most important thing to realize is that if we fwd an email to you, you want to open it quickly and reply to the party who submitted the initial request.

 

Closing Cost in Idaho – What will I walk away with after everything?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
January 18th, 2018

Every situation is different. The amount of closing cost you pay can depend upon a number of factors. However, as a general baseline, I’d like to post a few exact figures from a recent closing in Idaho as a point of reference. These #’s come from a transaction where the seller found their own buyer and no buyer agent fee was paid at closing.

City – Boise

Year of Closing – 2018

Final Sold Price – $452,000

Sewer Fee Owed to Boise – $31

Prorated Real Estate Taxes Owed – $ 2,645

Title insurance / Owner’s Coverage – $1,703

Settlement Closing Fee – $350

Wire Fee – $40

Tracking Fee – $75

Total Fees minus Real Estate Taxes – $2,199

 

Exciting News on Sold Data – Congress Realty

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
January 12th, 2018

The final 2017 #’s are in from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. We are proud to announce that Congress Realty has finished in the top 25 of all Agents in Las Vegas for # of listings sold as a listing agent. What does this mean exactly? It means that out of over 10,000 Las Vegas Agents who listed properties in 2017, We finished near the very top when it  comes to sold production.

It’s important to consider the following:

These #’s include all Las Vegas Agents… including all Full Service Realtors.

These #’s are not based upon what was listed for sale. They are based upon what was listed for sale that actually SOLD!

No other discount real estate company finished in the top 100. When we say we sell more Real Estate than almost all other discount competitors… the #’s back it up.

Needless to say, we are super excited to place near the VERY top in another market we service.

 

New San Antonio Blue Tooth Lockboxes

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
November 17th, 2017

SABOR is going through their lockbox swap this month. (San Antonio Board of Realtors) We should have the new lockboxes in stock sometime in the next 3 weeks. These new boxes are manufactured by SUPRA and have a longer battery life than the previous boxes. (about 5-7 years worth of battery) The boxes will also have the double release shackle and allow access to any Realtor through the use of their Smart Phone. As before, they will also track who goes in the property, what time they went into the property, the phone # of the person who entered the property, and the name of their employing brokerage. The old boxes will no longer work as of early Spring 2018. (new boxes work immediately)

 

 

I’m in Arizona… I’ve accepted an offer… Now What?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
November 1st, 2017

What happens next? I’ve signed my name on the dotted line…

The first thing that needs to happen is you want to ensure the escrow is opened within 1 business day. To open the escrow, any party to the transaction needs to get a fully signed contract to the escrow officer. You can walk it into their office or email the documents. In addition, the buyer must deposit the earnest money with the title/escrow company. This should happen within 24-48  hours of acceptance of the offer. As a seller, you can confirm the earnest money has been deposited through the earnest money receipt provided by the escrow officer.

Once the escrow is open and the EMD is deposited, you want to ensure you have the SPDS to the buyer or their agent no later than 5 days from acceptance. The term SPDS simply refers to the seller disclosures. As of this blog posting, you want to use the updated 2017 version. You can find these and download these at anytime through our private client area by clicking on State Files. Once you provide these to the buyer or their agent, they will review and they should initial and sign the SPDS AND return a copy to you. It is very important you have a signed copy from the buyer. The next step is the CLUE report. Essentially, this is a 5 year claims history on the property concerning insurance. It tells the buyer if the seller has made an insurance claim on the property over the specified time period. A CLUE report can be obtained online or you can contact your insurance provider and let them know what you need. Claim reports are almost always free from your insurance provider and you can get them within about 2 days of requesting. At this time, it’s also necessary to provide your buyer with any other agreed upon disclosures per the purchase contract that you signed. For example, this could include the LBP disclosure, mold disclosures, etc…

From that point, you are on your way to the inspection and BINSR period. We will update the blog to go over the BINSR in our next posting.

Ranking of the top 100 agents in all of Las Vegas Metro Area

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
October 6th, 2017

GLVAR Ranking of the top 100 Agents

Attached is a list of the top 100 agents in the Las Vegas area according the GLVAR in 2017.  A few things to keep in mind:.

  1. These #’s are factual and can not be disputed.
  2. From what I can see, I am the only flat fee broker who made the list.
  3. There are about 15,000 to 20,000 total agents in the Las Vegas area that are eligible to make this list
  4. While we are pleased to be ranked in the top 40, we believe we will finish in the top 30 by the end of the year. (if you remove the teams, we would easily crack the top 20 of individual agents)
  5. This list has nothing to do with what a Realtor(R) simply listed for sale… It is solely determined by what that Realtor(R) actually SOLD.

Analysis… if a friend or neighbor in the Las Vegas area tries to tell you that you can’t sell your home through a Flat Fee Broker, we advise you to print off this list and hand it to them. Once again, the factual data shows that Flat Fee Listings are shown and sold just like 6% competing listings.

Congress Realty in the Press Recently for SOLD Listings

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
September 29th, 2017

We are pleased to announce that the Phoenix Business Journal did include myself in the list of the top 35 agents by sold Volume. The Phoenix Business Journal uses sold data from the MLS to compile these rankings. The wonderful thing about these rankings is that they are based upon factual sold data. They are not based upon what a Realtor may want you to believe. We should know where exactly we placed in the upcoming days but it looks like we will fall in the #10 to #15 range. To put this in perspective, this is out of about 25,000 Realtors in the Phx metro area. Despite this, we realize that competing Full service Realtors(R) will continue to tell our clients that the only way to sell a home is to use a traditional full priced Realtor. Once again, the facts say otherwise. This is not our first appearance in the rankings. Donald Plunkett, founder of Congress Realty, peaked in the Phoenix Business Journal at the #1 position. Yes, you read that correctly, he finished #1 a few years ago.

In the New Orleans area, I was recently interviewed by New Orleans City Business Publication. This publication/article focuses on the highest sold listing in the New Orleans Metro area over a given time frame. The article should be released in the next 2-3 weeks but it will document that Congress Realty during this time period sold the highest priced listing in the entire New Orleans Real Estate Market. On the sale, we saved the seller approximately $80,000 on listing commissions. We are looking forward to the article and will try to publish with the authors permission when available.

Houston Sellers – Harvey Flood Option added to the MLS

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
September 8th, 2017

HAR has added a non required field to the MLS concerning Harvey Flooding. If your home did or did not flood and you want this disclosed on your HAR MLS listing, please email us at info@congressrealty.com with the request and we will update the MLS listing for you. Please keep in mind this does not alleviate any state required disclosure regarding flooding and/or damage to a subject property upon sale.

 

Competitors changing their company name and why?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
September 7th, 2017

We try to keep things positive but we also want the public to be educated on the different tricks of competing firms. A popular trend has been for other discount firms to change their company name every few years. So why is this happening? Admittedly, not all online reviews are created equal. Sites like Google do a great job of ensuring posted reviews are real actual reviews. The BBB is also great about ensuring all reviews posted are real. On the flip side, sites like Zillow allow anyone to post anything w/out any sort of monitoring process. Now that said, back to the original topic… Why do certain Discount Real Estate companies change their name? 9 times of out 10 is has to do with poor online reviews. One of our competitors had 37 filed complaints with the BBB over a 12 month span… So what did they do? They changed their name. Problem solved. This trick is becoming all too common and can be extremely frustrating for a company like ours. Anyone can type in the term Congress Realty and get nearly 15 years worth of reviews and customer feedback regarding our company. Another trick being used… companies switching to extremely generic terms as their company name. Why would they do this? B/c if you google a generic term like “American Real Estate”… (fictitious example) countless results will come back that don’t reflect the actual company you were searching for. It allows a company to hide their reviews and customer experiences.

With any online purchase…whether it be Real Estate, Ebay, whatever… always do your research before paying your hard earned money.

Interested to know the name of the company with 37 BBB complaints who simply changed their name? Call us and we can provide the info. (including another large flat fee company that has changed their name 3 times in the last 5 years)